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Giant windmill projects coming up in 4 provinces
By Wang Ying (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-11-07 05:32

A senior official from the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said China is to complete setting up large-scale windmills in the provinces of Gansu, Jiangsu, Hebei and Jilin.

They are expected to supply almost 1 GW (gigawatt) of power and encourage foreign investment in the country's wind power industry.

China, which gets 70 per cent of its energy needs from coal, has set a target of generating 30 GWs of electricity from wind sources by 2020. This will increase from an estimated figure of 1 GW by the end of this year, Wu Guihui, deputy-director-general of the NDRC's energy bureau told a press conference hosted by Greenpeace yesterday.

"We have planned windmills with a capacity of 100 MWs (megawatts) in Northwest China's Gansu Province, 250 MWs in East China's Jiangsu, 400 MWs in Northeast China's Jilin Province as well as some 200 MWs in North China's Hebei Province," Wu told China Daily on the sidelines of the conference.

Wu said some of the projects have been through the bidding process and some are under construction, although he refused to disclose information on the investment involved and completion times.

By the end of last year, China had 43 wind farms nationwide with a total capacity of 764 MWs, which is used on the national grid.

Industry analysts have predicted China's wind electricity sector within the next 15 years will generate revenue of at least 300 billion yuan (US$37 billion).

NDRC's Wu said technology is still a problem in fostering China's wind power market. The government is encouraging foreign technology transfers by guaranteeing overseas firms' shares in the market.

In order to boost the development of China's renewable energy sources, such as wind and biomass power, Wu said the NDRC has outlined a new electricity pricing system. This will act as an incentive to firms that want to produce power from these cleaner sources.

The government is also considering setting a quota for the country's big power producers, such as Huaneng, forcing them to produce electricity from renewable sources.

But Wu declined to give details, saying the figures will be announced next year when the country puts into force its first renewable energy law on January 1.

(China Daily 11/07/2005 page2)

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